TRENTON – Senate Health Chairman Joseph F. Vitale issued the following statement today on the House Republicans’ vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act:
“Once again, the Republicans are trying to push through a proposal that is sure to have a devastating impact on millions of Americans and their ability to afford and access health care.
“Pushing their agenda hastily without the benefit of an updated Congressional Budget Office score and within 24 hours after final amendments were posted is not only suspect, but it strips Americans of their right to have this plan fairly scrutinized.
“Without any analysis or proper review, we don’t know the implications of this new bill, how much it would cost or who it would cover.
“What we do know is that the revised bill eliminates protections for those with pre-existing health conditions by allowing states to seek waivers from the ACA’s current requirement that insurers charge people the same for coverage regardless any pre-existing conditions.
“We know that it will hamper our efforts to fight addiction in New Jersey, our leading public health crisis, by chipping away at all our efforts to expand mental health care and substance abuse treatment.
“Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents could lose coverage if the Medicaid expansion is eliminated as is planned under this proposal.
“Per capita caps or block grants would cause the most harm to our disabled population, and would not sustain our efforts to expand support services that allow these individuals to lead the fullest lives possible.
“Our Congressional delegates who voted for this bill are foolish to support such a proposal. Representing the needs of New Jersey residents should be first and foremost, and a vote in favor of this bill is in direct conflict with what our residents deserve.”